Bad breath can be incredibly embarrassing. It’s one thing when you know the culprit: you haven’t been brushing or flossing your teeth as often as you should, but what happens when your bad breath persists even after brushing?
There are a number of causes of bad breath even after brushing like health conditions, certain foods, and other habits. Fortunately, many of these causes can be treated and you’ll be on your way to fresh breath once again!
You Are What You Eat
Many times, the cause of your bad breath is what you’re eating. Brushing and flossing will only get you so far when you’re eating smelly foods like onions or garlic. These foods have to pass through your body before the odor will completely dissipate and brushing will only cover up the scent for a brief time. If you find that you often have bad breath and brushing doesn’t help, it might be time to look at your diet to see if a food you’re regularly eating is the cause.
Bad breath can be a symptom of a bigger dental issue like gum disease which is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. Poor oral hygiene can cause bacteria to form and irritate the gums, causing bad breath. If left untreated, gum disease can cause problems beyond bad breath, like damage to the gums and jawbone. Your dentist can give you guidance on how to better manage your oral health and cure your gum disease.
Smoking or Chewing Tobacco
As many people know, tobacco products cause a very distinct oral odor. Those who smoke or chew tobacco are also much more likely to have gum disease, another cause of bad breath. While it may not be easy, the simplest cure for this cause of bad breath is to kick the habit.
Another cause of bad breath after brushing could be a poor fitting dental appliance which can foster bacterial growth. For example, dentures that don’t fit properly or aren’t cleaned regularly can harbor food particles and bacteria that cause odor. Talk to your dentist about how to clean your dental appliance and adjustments to the fit that may need to be made.
Saliva is necessary to oral health because it helps to cleanse your mouth by neutralizing acids and washing away odor-causing particles. If saliva isn’t present, it can cause bad breath. You may have experienced “morning breath” because dry mouth naturally occurs when you are sleeping. However, dry mouth that occurs more frequently may be a sign of an underlying issue. Some diseases can cause dry mouth as well as salivary gland problems, and certain medications.
Tonsil stones are formed when debris like food and dead cells collects in your tonsils and hardens or “calcifies” into small white formations. Sometimes they are visible and other times they aren’t, but they rarely lead to serious complications. The most common symptom of tonsil stones, though, is bad breath. The trapped debris can grow bacteria and cause a foul odor. The most common treatment for tonsil stones is to remove them which can often be done at home with a q-tip or, for large tonsil stones, by a dentist or ENT specialist.
In some cases, bad breath that persists even after brushing can be a sign of a more serious issue. Diseases, like certain cancers, can cause bad breath as well as metabolic disorders. Excess stomach acid caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can also be a culprit.
How to Fix Bad Breath
If you’re experiencing chronic bad breath after brushing, a good first step is to visit your dentist. It may be that you’re not cleaning your teeth properly and they can help you with tips to improve your oral care routine. If there isn’t anything obvious to them, they’ll likely refer you to a physician to help you get to the bottom of your bad breath. Either way, bad breath should not be ignored because it can be a symptom of a serious underlying issue.
With over 30 years of experience, the dentists at Hawkins Family Dental in Gainesville, GA have seen it all. While bad breath may be an embarrassing subject for some, we’re happy to discuss with you all of your oral hygiene needs and help you find a solution to your bad breath even after brushing.Leave a reply →